HCPS 411 Update

March 31, 2022

COVID-19 Related Updated Operational Status

On April 1, HCPS operations will be updated to include unrestricted capacity for athletic events, fine arts performances, and Use of Facilities. This and all other operational updates will be available on hcps.org on April 1, 2022. Preview the new status here.

Blueprint for Our Student’s Future

HCPS has launched a committee structure to aid in the implementation efforts and requirements for the education reform known as Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Blueprint). Last week, the first Blueprint Steering Committee meeting was held with Central Office, school-based, and community stakeholders. If you are interested in following the Blueprint implementation at HCPS, please bookmark the following resources:

  1. Strategic Initiatives SharePoint Site
  2. How to Subscribe to Committee Updates.pdf
  3. New Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Introducing the Blueprint - Steering.3-23-22.pdf

National Board Scholarship Applications For 2022-23 - Due Date Approaching

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) seeks to elevate the status, voice, and role of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession. Through a rigorous certification process, teachers may achieve certification in 26 areas, which represent all content areas. HCPS is pleased to announce that the National Board scholarship application window has opened. The scholarship funds will cover most of the cost of the certification process. The only cost to teachers will be a $75 processing fee for each year they attempt to certify.

Click here to apply for the National Board Scholarship Harford County Public Schools - TalentEd Hire (tedk12.com). All applications are due by April 14, 2022.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to HCPS.NationalBoard@hcps.org.

Year-end Dates for Processing Transactions

A memorandum communicating due dates for processing transactions relating to fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, is now available on SharePoint: Year-End Dates Memo. Please share this information as appropriate. Questions regarding the deadlines should be directed to Jay Staab, in Finance, at Jay.Staab@hcps.org.

Real Talk Series: Safety and Security Part 3

We continue to highlight our partnerships with local law enforcement agencies in a series of short Real Talks focused on safety and security. Take a moment to watch this week's video, featuring School Resource Officer Jason Neidig of the Aberdeen Police Department as well as our Chief of Safety and Security Donoven Brooks.

Real Talk Series: Safety and Security Part 3

Harford County Education Foundation - Summer Palooza Raffle!

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. Harford County Education Foundation is getting ready by hosting the Summer Palooza Raffle! The winner of the raffle will receive a Trailmate All Terrain Igloo Cooler filled to the brim with over $1,200 of great stuff to get your summer fun started! You can learn more about the Summer Palooza raffle and purchase raffle tickets online at https://harfordeducation.org/events/raffle/. Online sales of the raffle will end on April 22, 2022. The winner will be drawn during the annual Chip in Fore Kids Golf Classic and notified on May 3, 2022. The proceeds from the Summer Palooza raffle will fund programs that provide support to teachers and students of Harford County Public Schools. Contact deb@harfordeducation.org with any questions.

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Teacher Tour Stop 4: Student Relationships

“A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything.” -Unknown

The importance of building positive and trusting relationships with students cannot be overstated. No matter the learning environment, the relationship between students and their teachers is critical. These positive relationships lead to improved academic results, motivate students, and boost positive behaviors. Do you know a teacher who is a master at building positive relationships with their students? Tell us about some of the amazing things they do to connect with their students. They could be the next stop on our teacher tour!

Please use this link to nominate an outstanding teacher on or before April 15, 2022. They may be the next stop on our teacher tour!

Church Creek Elementary Named March's Family Friendly School Winner!

HCPS Parent Academy, in partnership with Chick-fil-A of Harford County, is excited to announce that Church Creek Elementary School is the March winner for the school system’s Family Friendly School Award program!! Way to go, Cougars!

This month, a total of 22 schools were nominated and 1,762 unique votes were cast by the community among the nominated schools, naming Church Creek Elementary the winner with 369 votes!! Not only does the school earn the coveted title of Family Friendly School for the month of March, but the entire school staff will be treated to a luncheon by the program’s partner, Chick-fil-A of Harford County.

We want to give a special shout out to this month's runner up schools, that narrowly missed the title by a few votes:

  • Southampton Middle School
  • Ring Factory Elementary School
  • Riverside Elementary School

Keep up the great work!

The school system will continue to celebrate its schools that best engage all families by consistently demonstrating the National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships. One school will be named a family friendly school each month through May.

April is up for grabs! Want to see your school highlighted for this award on the website and social media, plus treated to a Chick-fil-A lunch? Continue to encourage parents/guardians, students, staff and community members to nominate your school for the Family Friendly School Award! The nomination window will be open again April 1-8, 2022, on the Parent Academy page of hcps.org. If your school is nominated, our community can show how welcoming your school is by casting their vote April 12-21, 2022.

More information may be found on https://www.hcps.org/parents/parentacademy/familyfriendlyschools.aspx.

HCPS is deeply grateful for its generous Chick-fil-A partners at the Aberdeen, Bel Air, Constant Friendship, and Forest Hill locations for their tremendous support of this program.

Family Friendly Award CCES

Congratulations to the March Limelight Honorees!

Congratulations to all of the March honorees highlighted below! And a special thank you to this month's sponsor, Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc. In addition to their certificate and car magnet, all of this month's nominees were gifted a $50 Amazon gift card from Bravura, and the following employees were lucky winners by random drawing and received an additional $100 in gift cards!

  • Kathryn Phipps, Edgewood Middle School
  • Michelle Sebastiani, Bel Air High School
  • Michelle McEndree, Bel Air Middle School
  • Dave Kelley, Fallston Middle School
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Professional Development Announcements

HCPS Summer and Fall 2022 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Course Offerings

The Summer and Fall Continuing Professional Development (CPS) Course Catalog is now available. Registration for these MSDE credit courses is available on HECTOR. Register early for the best course selection!

HECTOR Directions

Need assistance with HECTOR?

  • Registering for courses
  • Checking registration and history
  • Changing or canceling registration

Please see the Instructions for HECTOR.

Attention Teachers!

Teachers are needed to start right away to work with our Home and Hospital students. No application needed for current HCPS teachers. Pay is 100% your daily rate, typically for six (6) hours per week. You will make your own schedule with your home/hospital student (outside of your duty day), and almost all of our cases are conducted virtually. If interested, please email Joe DiBasilio at joseph.dibasilio@hcps.org to get started ASAP.

Thrive by Five Early Childhood Summit

The HCPS Parent Academy is proud to sponsor the upcoming Thrive by Five Early Childhood Summit for parents/guardians of children ages birth through five and childcare providers. During April 4-7, 2022, registrants may participate in up to 19, 25-minute online sessions. For the list of session topics and the summit schedule, please see the linked event flier, which is also available on our Parent Academy Facebook page or the Parent Academy page on www.hcps.org.

Spots are open to the first 250 registered. Click here to register now.

Registration for this event closes at midnight on April 1, 2022.

Mark Your Calendar: The Gift of Failure

On Thursday, April 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., teacher, international speaker, and celebrated author and columnist Jessica Lahey will present “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed” at Patterson Mill High School. The presentation is based on her New York Times best-selling book “The Gift of Failure,” which offers parents common-sense advice on how to let children learn from their mistakes.

A seasoned teacher, Ms. Lahey is internationally recognized as an expert on parenting styles and their impact on students’ motivation, learning and resilience. Ms. Lahey will answer questions and provide recommendations to help parents and educators reframe children’s temporary setbacks as beneficial steps toward lasting, long-term success.

Parents and caregivers are invited to attend this free presentation sponsored by the Harford County Department of Community Services’ Office of Drug Control Policy and held in partnership with Harford County Public Schools’ Parent Academy. Childcare is available for children ages 4-12 (pre-registration required). Please register for the event at www.harfordcountymd.gov/services.

2022 Teacher of the Year Sponsor Shout-Outs

Thank you to the following Diamond and Platinum sponsors of the 2022 HCPS Teacher of the Year program!
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HCPS Health Challenge, Presented by QuaranTeam 5

LAST CALL: The deadline to participate is TODAY, Thursday, March 31, 2022! Submit your photos or screenshots to enter to win a prize. Winners will be announced in the HCPS 411 Update on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

The QuaranTeam 5 is challenging HCPS employees to participate in activities to support staying fit - both mentally and physically. Click here to see the challenges! When you participate in any challenge, submit a photo or screenshot here to enter to win a prize. Each challenge you complete is one entry to win. Two lucky winners will receive a Nutri Ninja Pro Single Serve Blender (pictured), and one lucky winner will receive a CareFirst gift package!

You can also share your commitment to health using the hashtag #HCPSHealth on social media. Many HCPS employees are already participating! Check out some of our recent participants – Amber Seyler-Vyskoci, Elizabeth Adams, Krysta Gray, Kristina McGill, Claire Ring, Sarah Quinlan, Elizabeth Lombardo, and Robin McDermott!

The Science and Mathematics Academy at Aberdeen High School Invites You...

Save the Date!

Gallery Walk of Senior Capstone Projects – Class of 2022

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Aberdeen High School – Gymnasium


Summer Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running from July 10 – August 6, 2022. Tutors will provide students with instructional support and remediation. Tutors are needed in the areas of reading and mathematics for students in grades k-12. Tutors are also needed in science and social studies at the high school level. Tutoring will be offered for the graduation required courses in these two areas. Teachers and paraeducators in any content area may serve as tutors and will be able to identify their desired content(s) and grade level(s). Tutors will also be able to determine the number of tutoring sessions that they would like to conduct each week. Elementary students will be supported in a virtual, one-on-one setting. Middle and high school students will be supported in a virtual, small group setting with three or fewer students. Tutors will be compensated at their true hourly rate when working with students and the negotiated rate for planning.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form:


For any questions, please contact Academic.Tutoring@hcps.org.

Summer Jobs in Maintenance Listed

Harford County Public Schools Facilities Management Department has a nine-week Summer Maintenance Program (June 20 – August 18, 2022) open to anyone who enjoys varying jobs such as painting and general maintenance tasks. Those selected will work at school buildings and annexes throughout the Harford County Public Schools system. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and able to provide their own transportation to the various job sites.

The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There are two 15-minute breaks plus a 30-minute lunch. Starting pay for painting is $12.50.

Applications are located on the Harford County Public Schools website (hcps.org) under About Us > Current Vacancies > Other Career Opportunities/Substitutes. Only online applications will be accepted until positions have been filled.

If you have any questions regarding the program, please call the Hickory Annex at 410-638-4088.

CareFirst Wellness Announcements: Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month

Feeling overwhelmed lately? You are not alone. Now more than ever, many of us face challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting. In addition to dealing with the regular stressors of our day-to-day lives, the pandemic has added an additional layer of stress and uncertainty. It is important to help yourself learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst’s April Wellness Newsletter.

April Recipe of the Month: Vegetable Fried Rice: Click here to learn more and try this delicious dish.

CareFirst/ShareCare Monthly Challenge: April Live Mindfully Challenge

April 1 – April 30

Your behavioral health is important. Mindfulness has some significant health benefits like improved sleep and boosted brainpower. This month, challenge yourself to seek out moments to breathe a little deeper and work towards living in the green by staying “calm” or “productive” each day. To learn more about how to participate, click here.

Upcoming Webinar Workshop Series: Retirewise

Get your finances on track with the Retirewise workshop series presented by MetLife.

With Retirewise, you’ll be on your way to making smarter financial decisions and creating an action plan that works for you. From budgeting and building an emergency fund to determining your investment options and creating a will, there’s something for everyone to learn.

Each Retirewise session has different topics that build on each other:

  • Building the Foundation
  • Creating & Managing Wealth
  • Establishing Your Retirement Income Stream
  • Making the Most of What You Have

Workshop Details:

Session 1: Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Session 2: Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Session 3: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Session 4: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EST

If asked for the company name, enter Harford County Public Schools.

Click here to reserve your spot! Register online now. Space may be limited.

On the fence? Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect. Spouses and partners are welcome! For more information, click here.

Here’s A Little Treat Just For YOU

Presented by BurnAlong Virtual Wellness Portal

You are doing awesome, and the weekend is almost here! Enjoy some rejuvenation in under 10 minutes with the most popular classes others at Harford County Public Schools have enjoyed this month.

As a reminder, BurnAlong is our health and wellness partner who provides you and your family with access to 1,000’s of online classes from 1,000+ local instructors at no cost to you. To activate your complimentary account, get started by visiting https://fit.burnalong.com/hcps. If you have any trouble accessing your account, contact customercare@burnalong.com.

Find out more about BurnAlong in this brief video.

CareFirst Members: Will You Find the Golden Ticket?

Beginning February 1 through April 30, all CareFirst Members registered for their Well-being Platform powered by Sharecare will be eligible for the Golden Ticket!

What is the Golden Ticket Promotion? Every month, 60 randomly selected members will have a Golden Ticket image on their Well-being platform timeline. Lucky winners will each receive a $25 Visa® Virtual Gift Card! To claim your prize, you must find the Golden Ticket on your Sharecare timeline located in the CareFirst ShareCare app and click the "Claim Your Prize" button.

Ready to win? Follow these steps to get started!

1. Register or log in to your Sharecare Account! Click here to access your Sharecare Account.

2. Check your timeline daily to see if a Golden Ticket image appears.

3. If you see the image, follow the prompts to claim your prize!

EAP Webinar: Keeping Engaged and Preventing Burnout

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The March KEPRO EAP resources are here. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it is no surprise that many are experiencing heightened stress levels. Even though many things are happening beyond your control, there are still some steps to take to help reduce stress. This session will help you learn how to get around burnout, prevent it, and keep yourself engaged in your work and personal life. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning March 17, 2022

Broadcast Length: 50 minutes
How to Access: Go to your EAP website: www.EAPHelpLink.com. Enter your code: HCPS and look for Online Seminars in the lower left-hand corner of this homepage, or you can search for them by title.

The Employee Assistance Program is available to employees and their families anytime, any day and is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family, and personal life.

Employees and their family members can call KEPRO 24-hours per day, 7 days per week toll-free at (866) 795-5701 to visit their website online at www.EAPhelplink.com.

Shout Outs!

"We have a quadriplegic student who wants to drive and has seen a former race car driver, who is also quadriplegic, be able to drive a race car again. The student would love to meet the driver but has not had success through email etc. I tried also. Kay Lambert was adamant this was going to happen and contacted people everyday, and now the driver is calling the student here at school. When she told the student he was beyond elated. (Yes, there were tears of JOY!) Kay Lambert, you are AWESOME!"

-Chas. G. Hagan, Principal, Southampton Middle School

"Shout out to Mr. Kevin Smith, the School Safety Liaison at Aberdeen High School. Mr. Smith builds positive relationships with our students by talking, listening, and mentoring our young adults. He is known for his stern, no-nonsense expectations, while also remaining calm and sensible during conflict. He helps to de-escalate conflict and reinforce positive behaviors in our students. Mr. Smith is always available to support teachers in the classroom and around the building. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for all you do for Aberdeen High School!"

-Kerrie Bauer, Mathematics Teacher, Aberdeen High School

Welcome to HCPS!

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires to the HCPS family:

  • Francis Letschin, Custodian I-Shift 2, North Bend Elementary School
  • Quran Stansbury, Custodian I-Shift 2, William S. James Elementary School
  • Eric Bray, Inclusion Helper, Fallston Middle School
  • Benitta D'Silva, Paraeducator, Riverside Elementary School

Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, communications specialist

To submit an HCPS Shout Out or recognize a colleague in the Spotlight on Customer Service, please email the information and photo (if available) to HCPS.411@hcps.org.